Herb Basics 101: All herbs are not created equal

herb

All herbs are not created equal.

Herbs fall into three general categories:

1. Tonic
2. Medicinal
3. Poisonous

A tonic is something you can consume daily with no ill effects.

Nettle is a good example of a tonic. Oat straw is another. In common parlance, these are “super foods” (just a whole lot cheaper). Consuming them daily is like putting money in your health bank.

A medicinal herb is consumed … Read more

Herb Basics 101: How to make an infusion

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Herbals teas are a big business and that’s a good thing. Not everyone wants or needs to drink caffeine when they drink a hot beverage.

But here’s something not even 1 out of 100 people who drink herbal teas know…

The health effects of herbs don’t kick in until the healing properties have been extracted from the plant.

A commercial herbal tea bag steeped for a couple of minutes in … Read more

In praise of plantain

The Amazing Golden Thread
Bushcraft on Fire
 
Plantagos, Plantains
Eat the Weeds
 
Common Plantain
Northwest Forager
 
Nature’s Miracle Healer
Rick Van Man
 
Plantain – Anti-bacterial band-aid plant
Wisewoman Tradition
 – Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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Insights from the healing forest

Ethnobotanist and herbalist Rocio Alarcon grew up in the Andean highlands of Ecuador in a family that respected and used plants, depending on them for their daily survival.

As a young adult she received an academic training and then went to the Amazon to conduct her real studies.

In this talk from the excellent YouTube channel Herb TV, she discusses the social dimensions of ayawaska use and other shamanic practices … Read more

The other pharmacy

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Everyone knows (i.e. has been indoctrinated to believe) that when you’re not feeling well you go to the pharmacy for over-the-counter meds.

Or – if you have the time, the money, the patience and a decent doctor – you go to your doctor for a prescription.

While it’s great that these resources are available when needed, there’s a wee bit of a problem with this:

1. In 2010 alone, there … Read more

Herb Sources

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This is a beginning list. We will add to it as we learn of new reliable sources.

Avena Botanicals

Green Terrestrial
(802) 375-8087

Herbalist and Alchemist

The Herb Wyfe

Jean’s Greens

Jeanne Rose’s Herbal Product

Mountain Rose Herbs

Simpler’s Botanicals

– Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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What is herbalism’s proper role?

Herbalism is not science “lite.”

It’s also not an alternative therapy.

It’s a sophisticated healing system unto itself that has played and continues to play an essential role in the care and survival of the human race.

This is a talk that David Hoffman gave to the American Herbalists Guild Symposium in Portland, Oregon on November 5th, 2005.

In it he addresses the subversion of herbalism by Big Business and … Read more

Herb Basics 101: Buyer Beware

LOGO-charlatan

In our last post, we talked about the importance of being well informed when you source herbs and herbal products.

In case you think we were overstating the need for this, we just discovered the results of an investigation published by the Office of the Attorney General of the State of New York.

They took at at look at the actual contents of “herbal supplements” sold in Wal-Mart, Target … Read more

Herb Basics 101: Acquisition and storage

rsz_flowerpowerjars

Many sources advocate herbs for healing and cooking and they’re right – but only half right. There’s another very important part of the equation.

Where you get your herbs and how you store them is of maximum importance.

The best source of herbs

Where should you buy your herbs?

Because the effectiveness of herbs degrades significantly after one year, supermarkets – including most health food stores – are not a … Read more

Wade Davis: The variety of human experience

Fascinating talk by Wade Davis on the varieties of human experience, the value of the existence of these diverse worlds views and the serious and ongoing threat to indigenous people around the world.

At the 11:23 point Davis explains how it is that forest dwellers make profound botanical discoveries that elude the most advanced western science.

– Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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